Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Media Studies


Dr. Norma Coates


Many of the marketing strategies inherent to the modern version of the Trinidad Carnival include texts that represent Trinidadians as young, fit, bikini-wearing, party enthusiasts. In these advertisements, Trinidadians are often characterized as carefree and welcoming to anyone participating in the much-anticipated annual festival. However, dominant narratives highlight certain groups and cultural aspects of the island while frequently masking several inequalities. They cleverly conceal other narratives and therefore marginalize groups and individuals from the very festival that is understood by many as a national symbol. Through informal participant-observation, and an analysis of some of the main promotional material, in particular popular carnival websites, and entertainment pages on social networking sites, several inequalities are illuminated. This thesis critically analyses the ways in which Carnival as a commodity disenfranchises some natives and reproduces notions of race, class, and gender in a national context.